The Vaccine Race: How Scientists Used Human Cells to Combat Killer Viruses by Meredith Wadman review – The Guardian

Germ warfare Leonard Hayflicks use of human cells helped pave the way to a revolution in public health. Photograph: Alamy

In March 1968, biologist Leonard Hayflick visited the basement of the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology in Philadelphia. He was seeking a set of 375 vials, each bearing the code WI-38. Once found, he placed them in a nitrogen-cooled container and then hid them in a friends house. He informed no one at Wistar, his former employer, of his actions.

A few days later, Hayflick transported the vials to Stanford University, where he had just been made professor of medical microbiology. There he started to sell them to drug companies.

Each vial contained several millioncells grown from a single aborted human foetus. Infected with rubella, polio, rabies, hepatitis A and other viruses, the WI-38 cells would act as hosts for growing these viruses so they could be used as the basis of vaccines, Hayflick argued. Crucially, they would be free of contaminants that had recently been found in vaccines made from viruses grown in animal cells not an issue for his pristine foetal cells.

A gifted experimenter, Hayflick had created the WI-38s (which stands for Wistar Institute sample 38) in 1962. They were the worlds first line of normal, noncancerous human cells and held fantastic promise. However, they were not Hayflicks property. They belonged to the Wistar Institute, and their removal and subsequent sale for profit left him wide open to charges of theft. In the end, he only narrowly avoided prosecution. So why did the biologist take such extraordinary action?

Meredith Wadman is clear about the source ofHayflicks woes. He was working under duress, reined back by obdurate, ultra-conservative, self-protective vaccine regulators who were preventing him from using his cells for vaccine work. Hence his decision to sell them on the quiet to pharmaceuticals companies.

The move would haunt Hayflick for the rest of his life. He was hounded from office and never received the accolades he deserved for deriving his cells (which are still used by vaccine makers today). It took a decade of procrastination before US regulators capitulated and approved his cells for vaccine development. (Europe was far quicker off the mark.) Since then, more than 6bn vaccine doses based on his cells have protected the west against rubella, rabies, chicken pox, and other lethal or debilitating illnesses.

Hayflick achieved great things but let his pigheadedness lead him into trouble

In the case of rubella, which can cause severe foetal damage in pregnant women, the vaccine halted infections and stopped mothers seeking abortions as they had done widely in the past after finding themselves infected in early pregnancy. Thus a vaccine itself based on aborted foetal tissue had a far greater pro-life effect than all the efforts of anti-abortion religiousactivists.

It is an extraordinary story and Wadman is to be congratulated, not just for uncovering it but for relaying it in such a pacy, stimulating manner. This is a first-class piece of science writing that does considerable justice to Hayflick, a character who achieved great things but let his pigheadedness lead him into trouble.

For long periods in his later life, Hayflick, a family man, was cold-shouldered by US academia and he had to scrabble for work in the wake of his raid on Wistars freezers. In a fair world, he should have been heading departments of leading researchers although today, aged 86, he does find himself at least partially rehabilitated, having served as an adviser to several biotech companies and authored some well-received books.

Much of this restoration concerns the crucial role he played in the field of ageing research, for in developing his WI-38 cells, Hayflick discovered an intriguing fact. There was an upper limit for the number of times each of his cells would divide known today as the Hayflick limit. Previously, scientists thought that cells in a culture could continue to divide for ever. The existence of an upper limit gave scientists a means to explore cellular senescence, by homing in on the mechanism that regulates thelimiting of cell division and so creating a flourishing field that today offers important insights into cancer and ageing.

More to the point, Hayflicks relentless campaigning for the right to use human cells instead of animal cells to make vaccines helped speed up a revolution in public health in the west, though few thanked him at the time. Nevertheless, he played a key role in the victory in the war against viral diseases such as rubella and polio, an achievement that freed us from truly terrible scourges.

This point is worth recalling whensome individuals, including Donald Trump, openly question theworth and effectiveness of vaccines. For them, Alan Shaw, a former vaccine researcher, has a perfect response quoted by Wadman.Developing vaccines is probably one of the most productive things you can do, simply because if you succeed in getting one made, you watch a disease disappear.

The Vaccine Race by Meredith Wadman is published by Doubleday (20). To order a copy for 16 go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over 10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of 1.99

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The Vaccine Race: How Scientists Used Human Cells to Combat Killer Viruses by Meredith Wadman review – The Guardian

Monitoring group documents Turkey-backed profiling in Netherlands – Turkey Purge

The Turkish government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoan have extended the ongoing oppression on critics to abroad by using government institutions, quasi-official structures and front NGOs, areport released byStockholm Center for Freedom (SCF)has revealed.

The report, drawn from a case study on the Netherlands where close to half a million Turks live, exposes how the current government in Turkey, has intensified spying, intelligence gathering and profiling of critics that at times led to harassment, intimidation, hate crimes and even physical attacks including arson attempts.

We mapped out ways and means of how Turkish government has been pursuing its critics and opponents in foreign countries, exporting divisiveness and stirring troubles, said Abdullah Bozkurt, the President of SCF.

Frankly, this amounts to a hostile, unfriendly and unlawful practices especially in the Netherlands, a country that is a NATO ally of Turkey, he added.

Although critics from all walks of life including Kurds and Alevis were targeted in general in this stigmatizing effort by the Turkish government, members of the Glen movement, which the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, have borne the brunt of this major campaign of witch-hunt.

The movement denies any involvement.

According to the SCF report, Turkish embassies, government agencies including intelligence service and non-governmental organizations affiliated with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government have all involved in profiling and harassment of the Gulenists.

This persecution is personally sanctioned by the Turkish President himself who stated that no country in the world would be safe for members of the movement, vowed to pursue them wherever they are. His propagandists have even suggested assassinating and abducting critics abroad, and offered bounty on their heads.

To its credit, the Dutch government has so far taken some counter-measures including legal and diplomatic actions to prevent such blatant interference by Turkish government into the countrys internal affairs and protect people from the long arm of Erdogan.

SCF has documented many cases in this report, mostly from open sources and interviewed some victims. There have been other cases for which the victims do not want to report incidents for fear of further reprisals by the Turkish government such as jailing of victims relatives back in Turkey or unlawfully seizing their assets.

SCF believes that the information presented in this research is accurate to the best of its knowledge and declares that it remains open to make corrections, updates if further information becomes available.

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Monitoring group documents Turkey-backed profiling in Netherlands – Turkey Purge

Opinion: The Relevance of Orwell’s 1984 – Emertainment Monthly (registration) (blog)

Haley Saffren 20 /Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

In 1949, George Orwell created a classic novel about a dystopian society that takes place in, what seemed at the time, a futuristic version of the year 1984. The story follows a man named Winston who is entrenched in a corrupt society that uses lies and propaganda to ensure that its citizens follow the Inner Party without any questions. Winston harbors a strong hatred for the party and yearns for a rebellion to one day overthrow it. When Donald Trump became president, sales of this book, which has been in publication for many decades, began to spike because of the eerie similarities to what is going on today in the US government. It is not difficult to understand why.

In the novel, extreme oppression of independent thoughts and ideas is rampant, especially if these thoughts and ideas present a challenge to the government. If someone is even suspected of being a traitor to the government, they are manipulated into revealing their position, captured, and tortured. From just the first few weeks of Trumps presidency, his methods seem eerily similar to those of the followers of Big Brother and the Inner Party in 1984. While no one has been treated as harshly by the US government as they were in 1984 (so far), extreme occurrences of discrimination and oppression of freedom of speech already have occurred. Police arrested journalists at Trumps inauguration protests, holding some of them overnight just for doing their jobs.

This was a clear attempt to stop them from reporting accurate accounts of events and highlighting how more people seemed to show up for the protests against the new president than for his inauguration. Trumps administration tried to manipulate the media coverage to trick the public into believing that more people showed up for his inauguration than Obamas in 2009 and 2013. When the Muslim Ban was put forth, Trumps staff tried to say it was not a ban, even though Muslims were being explicitly held at airports and arriving Muslims were sent out of the country. Trumps methods are not as extreme as the atrocities Big Brother committed in 1984, but Trumps administration is showing signs of taking the government down a similar, dark path to the ruling body in the book.

Increased sales may also be due to the fact that some people are scared. They know the near future looks bleak as long as Trump is in power.1984 shows readers how far Trump could go with the power he has. However, this book also reminds us to never stop fighting for civil rights so that the US government cannot take the terrible turn Winstons government did in the novel. If people stop fighting wrongs and exercising their rights, Trump will be allowed to do whatever he wants. Even though most believe it could never happen, it could get to the point where he is willing to torture people who remotely oppose him. In 1984, when Winston was suspected of being a rebel, the government had one of his coworkers pretend to be an ally and gain his trust. Once this so-called friend figured out Winston was against Big Brother, he exposed him.

They tried to change his way of thinking by using torturous methods including electroshock therapy and drastically exposing him to his worst fear (which involved him being nearly eaten by rats). Although this is the worst case scenario, it is still a possibility in our world. The book is a marvelous showcase of what effects a government under the worst form of dictatorship could have on society. Although it is hard to imagine America falling to this level, the US is entering unknown waters and a period of a horrifying use of power.

The increase in sales of 1984 reveals the terror and resolve people are feeling in order to address this dark era. People are trying to understand what government looks like under extreme, oppressive leadership, especially since Trump is already exhibiting these characteristics. Not only is this book informative, but also it gives people hope that things are not as bad as they could be, and, unlike the citizens in 1984, a lot of people in the United States are actively standing up for what they believe is right.

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Opinion: The Relevance of Orwell’s 1984 – Emertainment Monthly (registration) (blog)

Transport groups hold nationwide transport strike to protest government’s PUV modernization program – CNN Philippines

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) For the second time this month, jeepney operators and drivers hold a nationwide transport strike and commuters are feeling the crunch.

The members of transport groups PISTON, Stop and Go Coalition, and No to Jeepney Phase-out Coalition are expected to gather at the Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan City to kick off today’s nationwide transport strike.

According PISTON President George San Mateo, this jeepney strike is not only happening in Metro Manila, but in over 20 cities and municipalities across the country.

San Mateo said this is their response to the government’s inaction to their plea to scrap the current version of the jeepney modernization program of the government – which they believe is a phase-out.

The same groups also organized a similar nationwide transport strike last February 6.

The previous transport strike was resolved when officials of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) called for a dialogue which was attended by the transport leaders.

However, transport groups were unsatisfied with the results of the dialogue, and on the same day declared their intention to organize a much bigger strike the one happening today.

San Mateo apologized to all affected commuters, but threatened if the government continues to be dismissive of their pleas, their groups will organize regular monthly strikes like this.

The jeepney groups are against the provision of the Transportation Department’s order that will disallow jeepney models that are 16 years and older from plying their routes.

San Mateo said if they disallow these jeepney models, the government is actually phasing them out. He called this move a clear oppression of small jeepney operators and drivers, which will ultimately deprive them of their livelihood.

Apart from jeepneys, this modernization program also affects other types of public utility vehicles like buses and vans.

Commuters in several parts of the Metro are feeling the effects of the strike this early in the day.

There are fewer jeepneys arriving in Philcoa, along Commonwealth Avenue as of six in the morning.

The jeepneys passing along the area are mostly full.

Passengers say that their Monday commutes are usually difficult, but it’s made worse today because of the striking jeepney drivers.

The members of PISTON from Quezon City came here as early as 2 a.m., to express their grievances.

This group will be converging with other PISTON members all over Metro Manila in Mendiola before lunch time today.

The police and personnel from the MMDA have positioned themselves in the area ready to assist the commuters.

In Monumento, the number of jeepneys ferrying commuters is growing smaller as the day progresses.

Some passengers here have been walking around, chasing available jeepneys. Others have been waiting for over 30 minutes hoping to get a ride.

Sonny Magalang, a commuter, said, “Lalo na mamayang ala-sais, agawan na ‘yan tapos hindi na sila magpi-pick up… Inagahan ko para makapasok, pero hanggang ngayon hindi pa rin ako nakakasakay.”

[Translation: Come 6 a.m., it will be difficult to get a ride. People will jostle each other to get a ride, but then jeepneys won’t pick up passengers anymore… I got up early to go to work, but I haven’t been cable to catch a ride up to now.]

The LTFRB and the Metro Manila Development Authority have pre-positioned government vehicles to offer free rides.

The LTFRB has also commissioned some buses to ferry commuters for minimal fees.

Some MMDA personnel and members of the police are also assisting passengers.

Class and work suspensions in several areas nationwide were declared on Sunday to ease the burden on commuters.

READ: #WalangPasok: Class and work suspensions for Feb. 27 due to transport strike

CNN Philippines correspondent Yumi Lugod contributed to this report.

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Transport groups hold nationwide transport strike to protest government’s PUV modernization program – CNN Philippines

Another Jewish cemetery desecrated; what will the President say? Isn’t the government supposed to help? – San Diego Jewish World

Posted on 26 February 2017.

establish justice, insure domestic tranquility From the preamble of the U.S. constitution

By Bruce S. Ticker

Bruce S. Ticker

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania Just Sunday afternoon, I was gazing at an internet photo of cemetery headstones, some overturned, bearing names like Singer, Weiss, Goldstein and Markowitz three miles southeast of my apartment in Northeast Philadelphia.

The desecration of nearly 100 headstones at Mt. Carmel Cemetery over the weekend is the latest crime directed at Jewish cemeteries, community centers, synagogues and other facilities during the past few months. Mt. Carmel is part of a collection of cemeteries across the street from the Frankford Transportation Center, the northern terminus of the citys elevated train which I ride frequently.

It is disturbing enough that American Jews are targeted so much at this time, but it would be far scarier if the government refused to address this problem. The introduction to our constitution states that we enforce the law and keep all of us as safe as possible. This is a contract between the American people and our government.

The Jewish community has been able to rely on this premise, as have all other racial, religious and ethnic groups at least in modern times. So-called President Trump managed to disrupt this comfort zone when the issue arose at his first presidential news conference and he persisted in stumbling through this episode when he sought to reassure American Jews.

Let us give him the benefit of the doubt that Trumps response was due to sloppy governance, not cynical pandering to anti-Semites who form part of his base. Idiocy is scary enough.

Certainly, every American must be protected by the government, but starting on Feb. 16 the Jewish community experienced a five-day period of confusion over the governments reliability to ensure as much as possible the safety of Americas estimated 5.3 million Jews.

This is personal. Despite my exposure to anti-Semitism, I have always felt I could depend on the government at all levels to address illegal actions toward Jews be it physical assault, vandalism or job discrimination.

That is so fundamental. Jews throughout history have been vulnerable to anti-Semitic acts because the government either sponsored them or was lax in addressing the offenses. Not in America. In fact, my people have been relatively fortunate here in the past 227 or so years.

The system cannot prevent all anti-Jewish acts nor control the thinking of anti-Semites, but it can and does address these incidents as they happen.

Today, police automatically investigate reports of criminal acts against Jews. Moreover, vandalism of synagogues and other Jewish facilities often prods our non-Jewish neighbors to come out in droves to repair the damage. Agencies on the state and federal levels routinely respond to claims of workplace bias. The FBI usually investigates nationwide crime patterns that victimize Jews as well as everyone else.

As The New York Times reported it, Trump muffed an ideal opportunity to reinforce the governments role on Feb. 16 when reporter Jake Turz asked, What we are concerned about and what we havent really heard being addressed is an uptick in anti-Semitism and how the government is planning to take care of it.

As Turz recounted the spate of bomb threats at Jewish facilities and similar incidents from Maine to California, Trump interrupted him in mid-sentence, saying, I understand the rest of your question

(HmmmTrump revealing his psychic skills.)

I am the least anti-Semitic person that youve ever seen in your entire life, Trump continued.

(Apparently, our president did not even understand the initial part of your question.)

I find it repulsive, Trump went on. I hate even the question because people that know me

He admonished Turz for ignoring Benjamin Netanyahus friendship with Trump whom the Israeli prime minister regards as a friend of Israel and the Jewish people instead of having to get up and ask a very insulting question like that. Just shows you about the press, but thats the way the press is.

Like many allies of Netanyahu, Turz is Orthodox and reports for Ami Magazine, an Orthodox Jewish weekly based in Brooklyn. He is conspicuous at White House news conferences by his Orthodox-style attire. To clarify, more of the Orthodox are prone to vote Republican, press for hardline Israeli actions and even take Christian right-type positions such as opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.

The response from mainstream Jewish groups was swift and biting. Summing it up well was David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, who said, Use your bully pulpit not to bully reporters asking questions potentially affecting millions of fellow Americans, but rather to help solve a problem that for many is real and menacing.

In short, Trump shattered the contract between American Jews and government protection from oppression.

Practically speaking, Trumps response to the reporter will probably make no difference in the lives of American Jews, but officially it was a breach. Maybe he intentionally ignored the real thrust of the question to please his anti-Semitic supporters, or maybe he had such a lapse in concentration that he simply misunderstood the question. This was the president talking about constitutional policy and traditional routine practice. As George Costanza of Seinfeld asked about pigeons who historically fly away when cars approach until one such bird flouted tradition, Dont we have a deal with the pigeons?

Of course, Trump has threatened the security of Muslims, Hispanics and others, but his breach with Jews was done in a sharper manner. He could not tout any excuses that Jews might be dangerous and he acted in a more specific, categorical manner for no discernible reason. Especially, consider his staunch backing of Israel and his family relationship (his daughter as convert to Judaism).

His efforts to fill the breach were downright tepid. He waited five days after the confrontation with the reporter before offering an easy answer. In a flat, static tone of voice, he said, The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.

Another Trump comment was nice but a tad mystifying. As The New York Daily News reported, he said, Anti-Semitism is horrible. And, its gonna stop and it has to stop.

Anti-Semitism is horrible? Is this a matter of debate? As for stopping anti-Semitism, Trump would surpass the likes of Oskar Schindler, Raoul Wallenberg and Meep Gies as gentiles who saved Jews during World War II should he accomplish this feat.

It will be sufficient if Trump can end acts of anti-Semitism. American Jews will appreciate that deal.

* Ticker is a freelance writer in Philadelphia. He may be contacted via[emailprotected].

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Another Jewish cemetery desecrated; what will the President say? Isn’t the government supposed to help? – San Diego Jewish World

Philippine police say ready to return to war on drugs as dealers return – Reuters

MANILA Philippine police are ready to resume President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on the drugs trade which had returned to the streets, the police chief said on Monday, a month after Duterte halted police operations, labeling the force “rotten to the core”.

Ronald dela Rosa told reporters the sooner police returned to the fight better, otherwise gains made against drug traders could be lost.

“We are ready to go back to war if given orders by the president,” dela Rosa told reporters. “The longer that we are out of the war on drugs, the situation is getting worse, problems will return. So, the sooner we return, the better.”

Despite his denunciation of the police, Duterte told reporters he may allow them to resume anti-drug operations, saying there had been a rise of about 20 percent in drug sales on the streets since police were pulled back.

“I will leave it to the Philippine National Police to decide,” he said. “What they have to do (is) to succeed.”

Dela Rosa said he had spoken with governors, mayors and village officials who, he said, were clamoring for police to return to the anti-drugs campaign because drug peddlers and users were back on the streets.

Duterte ordered the police to stand down from the drugs war last month after declaring the force rotten to the core. Since then, the drugs trade has come back out of the shadows, more than half a dozen drug users and dealers in some of Manila’s toughest areas told Reuters.

More than 8,000 people have been killed in the war on drugs since Duterte was sworn in almost eight months ago, about 2,500 of whom were killed in official police anti-narcotics operations.

Human rights groups believe many of the others were extra-judicial executions committed in cooperation with the police a claim the Duterte administration has vehemently denied.

Reporters and photographers working the crime beat on the night shift said “vigilante-style” killings of drug suspects had continued, but at a much slower pace after the suspension of police operations.

Duterte halted police operations at the end of January and transferred the role to the 1,800-member Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, supported by the army.

(Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Nick Macfie)

It is in Kuala Lumpur’s “Little India” neighborhood, behind an unmarked door on the second floor of a rundown building, where a military equipment company called Glocom says it has its office.

JAKARTA A militant killed by police in Indonesia after detonating a small bomb in the city of Bandung on Monday was “possibly” part of a radical network sympathetic to Islamic State, police said.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan After having been declared dead several times in the past, a senior Taliban commander has been killed in an air strike in northern Afghanistan, officials of the militant group confirmed on Monday.

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Philippine police say ready to return to war on drugs as dealers return – Reuters

Our View: White House plan reignites wasteful war on drugs – Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Just when you thought the useless and wasteful drug-war philosophy of the past was slowly receding in the rear view, the Trump administration is pulling a U-turn.

The White House indicated last week that states like Maine that have legalized marijuana should expect greater enforcement of federal anti-pot laws, going against public sentiment, economic trends, and the good sense that anti-drug resources should be spent on solving the opioid crisis, not disrupting safe, established businesses following state law.


Its hard to know just what the administration has in store. The announcement last week, by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, came with no further details or policy changes, except to say that only recreational marijuana, not medical, would be targeted.

Going after recreational marijuana goes against a campaign pledge from Trump, but that doesnt mean much. He also said last year that he would protect transgender Americans, yet he recently rescinded federal direction on bathroom use for transgender students, citing state rights. (Apparently, states are free to discriminate, but not to legalize a largely harmless drug.)

It does, however, jibe with the views of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who once said that good people dont smoke marijuana and now oversees the Justice Department in a country where nearly half the people have tried it.

Sessions in his confirmation hearings would not commit to following the Obama administrations policy of leaving states alone as long as a solid regulatory structure was in place. Federal law is the law, Sessions has argued, and he will enforce it even when it conflicts with state law.

Of course, that conflict could be lessened, though not entire erased, if federal agencies and Congress took the sensible steps of reclassifying marijuana as a drug with accepted medical uses something on the books in 28 states now and rewriting financial rules to allow marijuana businesses that follow state law to use the banking system.

Instead, the Trump administration appears ready to antagonize those businesses; the real question is how. Spicers announcement has already injected great uncertainty into the industry, and actions such as raids or prosecutions of recreational marijuana businesses would further chill investment and scare off customers.


That would unnecessarily stunt an industry that is expected to produce more than 250,000 jobs and $24 billion in revenue by 2020, and send millions of productive and otherwise law-abiding Americans back to the black market, where their money is much more likely to end up in the hands of criminals who are actually dangerous.

States like Maine that have legalized marijuana should fight this kind of federal overreach. Unlike with the transgender case, state laws on marijuana are not discriminatory. They are a true example of the Jeffersonian concept of states as laboratories, and so far the experiments are working just look at the successes in Washington state and Colorado.

Federal resources would be much better spent helping stop the daily carnage from opioid use than dismantling an industry that has entered the mainstream.

Eight states, comprising 21 percent of the countrys population, have voted to legalize marijuana. A new poll from Quinnipiac University found 59 percent of Americans think pot should be legal nationwide, and 71 percent say the federal government should not enforce federal laws against states that have legalized pot.

As Maine state officials and legislators work to implement the new marijuana-legalization law here, they should not be deterred by the noise coming from the Trump administration. They should reassure with their outspoken support the business interests looking to invest in the industry, and they should remember that they have history and public opinion on their side.


Our View: White House plan reignites wasteful war on drugs – Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Dela Rosa hopes PNP can focus on drug war anew – Banat

MANILA, Philippines The Philippine National Police is itching to get back to the controversial war on drugs but the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to prioritize internal cleansing is preventing them to focus on the illegal trade, the nation’s top cop said.

PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said at a press briefing at Camp Crame Monday that internal cleansing is a never-ending process and coexists with the PNP.

“As long as buhay ang PNP meron at meron magkakamali, mate-tempt na gumawa ng kalokohan,” Dela Rosa explained.

“We are dealing with human resources, dynamic individuals, hindi natin ma-preempt lahat,” he added.

If the drug efforts’ suspension will indeed be lifted, Dela Rosa believes it will take an eternity before they can resume their operations, which they claimed to be a success since it was launched in July last year.

Despite claims of success, the government has yet to release numbers showing that the drug supply and demand have been curbed. The so-called drug war, moreover, has received worldwide criticism for thousands of deaths of suspected “drug personalities” since it was launched.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

The PNP chief said the PNP is still awaiting Duterte’ order of reinstatement, which will give them the authority to take action on reports of drug peddlers back on the streets.

Dela Rosa claimed that the situation is getting worse.

“Wala kaming magawa… sayang ‘yung nakuha nating gains sa first seven months,” he said.

Duterte halted the anti-illegal drug operations of PNP last month after a Korean businessman was discovered to have been killed inside police headquarters Camp Crame by cops who used the anti-narcotics campaign for illegal activities.

Victim Jee Ick-Joo was proven innocent after he was accused of being involved in the drug trade to justify his death.

The issue led to disbandment of anti-illegal drug group of the PNP.

Duterte ordered the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to take the lead in the continued anti-narcotics efforts while the PNP focused on internal purging of errant cops.

Despite this, Dela Rosa vowed the PNP is now ready to be on the offensive again.

“Mahirap baka sabihan ni presidente pinapangunahan ko siya. Baka sabihin nya maghintay ka. The president naman is on top of the situation, alam niya ‘yung nangyayari sa buong pilipinas,” Dela Rosa said.

“We are ready to go back to war if given orders by the president,” he added.

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Dela Rosa hopes PNP can focus on drug war anew – Banat

Newington forum on gambling addiction today – Bristol Press

The compulsion of betting, wagering, winning and losing will be the focus of an upcoming public forum hosted by the Newington Kiwanis Club.

On Monday, Feb. 27, the club will present two members of Gamblers Anonymous at its monthly speaker meeting at Paradise Restaurant, 10 East St., New Britain.

This event is a must see for family members and friends of susceptible persons as well as for those who find themselves enchanted by the possibilityof the big win, Kiwanis Program Chairman Al Cohen said. With the advent of so many well-publicized gambling facilities, the temptations of the big win may ensnare ordinary persons from all levels of life.

Cohen has invited two Tonys to tell their tales that evening both recovering gambling addicts. Tony M. is driving down from his home in Massachusetts, to reach people who might be considering putting an end to their games.

Our numbers have dwindled through the years; less people seem to be seeking help, Tony M. said Tuesday. We believe there arent necessarily less people out there that have the addiction, just less people seeking help. Thats why this is a great opportunity to have the voice of Gamblers Anonymous be heard.

A recovering alcoholic might count the days since their last drink; Tony placed his last bet on Dec. 5, 2004.

Ive been clean over 12 years. My relationships with my children, my wife and family members have gotten better. My life in general has gotten better.

The struggle of a gambling addict follows the same vein as that of a drug or alcohol addict. Gambling, however, is not as easily recognizable as the latter types of addictions.

It will make a good person do some things they wouldnt normally do, Tony M. explained. Steal and lie to people they love. But its more of a hidden disease. If a person is drunk or on drugs you can usually tell, but if a person is a compulsive gambler you cant read that just by looking at them.

He met the other Tony, who lives in southern Connecticut, at a GA meeting nearby. The pair will both share their stories and answer questions from the audience at the upcoming event.

Theres no cure for this, you dont graduate or anything like that, Tony M. said. Its something you have to work on pretty much the rest of your life.

Radio and television host Steve Parker will conduct the program, which begins at 7 p.m. Those who wish to dine are encouraged to arrive earlier. Admission is free and walk-ins are welcome. The Newington Kiwanis free public forum nights began in 1986 and reoccur on the last Monday of each month except May and December.

The American Psychiatric Association defines pathological gambling as a medical disorder directly impacting over two million people in the U.S. Warning signs include an obsession with having to get the mail, missing work, strange phone calls, disappearing for long periods of time, lying, missing money, calls from bill collectors and irritability.

For immediate help with a gambling addiction, call the Gamblers Anonymous hotline at 855-222-5542.

Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or eschmitt@centralctcommunications.com.

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Newington forum on gambling addiction today – Bristol Press

MGM’s new problem gambling program designed to raise awareness – Las Vegas Review-Journal

Theres no such thing as luck, but compulsive gamblers should at least feel fortunate that the states largest employer is introducing a problem gambling program that locals will begin seeing soon.

While it isnt perfect, the GameSense program MGM Resorts International will unveil by the end of the year has the potential of providing a technological tap on the shoulder to players who cant quit gambling when they should.

MGM was ordered by Massachusetts gaming regulators to implement the program in that state when MGM Springfield opens its doors next year. When company officials took a look at GameSense, they decided to introduce it to all its U.S. properties, including 10 in Las Vegas.

MGM is partnering with the British Columbia Lottery Corp. to introduce the high-profile awareness program.

Its expected that GameSense will have a visible presence in MGM casinos with signage, kiosks and a team of advisers who will be trained to look for and talk to distressed gamblers who probably should have quit playing earlier.

One of the missions of GameSense will be to educate people about how gambling works so that they make better decisions about their play limits. Bo Bernhard, the executive director of UNLVs International Gaming Institute, says GameSense will function like a product label, giving consumers detailed information about the entertainment theyve chosen to participate in.

Its going to mean blowing up some of the commonly held misperceptions about slot machines, such as this machine is due to hit or that a certain machine is cold or hot. The reality is that a player has the same random odds for a favorable outcome every time the game is played.

MGM also is giving UNLV $1 million over five years to gather research on problem gambling, and that research and some policy and regulatory questions MGM will have to review could lead to even greater player awareness.

Imagine if a player could set limits for time or money spent playing and place those parameters onto the players loyalty card. When a player reaches that limit of time or money, the machine produces a reminder to the player. At that point, the player must make a decision: Should I reject the self-imposed limitation, or should I stick to the commitment I made?

Clearly, a player can simply remove the loyalty card and quit playing or go someplace else to gamble.

Alan Feldman, executive vice president of global government and industry affairs for MGM and a longtime advocate for problem gambling awareness programs, said some research has suggested that getting an earlier reminder about nearing the limit for time or money spent has produced a negative result. Instead of winding down, the player increases bets or tries to chase a loss more aggressively.

Thats why the UNLV research, which will be shared with the University of British Columbia and Harvard Universitys medical school on addictive behavior, is so important. The right balance must be struck to be effective, and researchers will try to find out what that is.

GameSense doesnt have all the answers.

But its a good start.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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MGM’s new problem gambling program designed to raise awareness – Las Vegas Review-Journal

Deception alleged in control over pokie machine gambling and profits – Stuff.co.nz

Last updated18:32, February 27 2017


Influence over the operation and profits from pokie machines is at the heart of a trial that began on Monday.

A father and son prominent in horse racing circles have gone on trial alleged to have deceived gambling authorities about the son’s involvement with pokie machine operations, and distributing theprofits.

The charges against them do not specify sums, but the charitable trust in which it was alleged the son was “significantly influential”distributed more than $11.8 million in grants between December 2009 and July 2013, the Serious Fraud Office alleged.

It was alleged the son, Michael Joseph O’Brien, 57, of Blenheim, was running an “invoices for grants” scheme with racing clubs, from which he got an income and they received grants.


His ailing father, Patrick Francis O’Brien, spent much of his 83rd birthdayin a room at the Blenheim courthouse watching on a screen while thetrial tookplace atthe High Court inWellington. PatO’Brien was an accountant and a former chairman of Harness Racing New Zealand.

READ MORE: *SFO $30 million gaming charges, four plead not guilty *$30 million at centre of pokie probe *Inquiry into pokie grants looks likely to hit home

MikeO’Brien,Paul Anthony Max, 60, of Nelson, and a 56-year-old former Department of Internal Affairs employee whose name was suppressed, were also on trial. Each has pleaded not guilty.


Due to ill-health, Pat O’Brien was allowed to remain in Blenheim and “attend” his trial by a video link.

The Secretary for Internal Affairs has to approve thosewith significant interests in the management, ownership, or operation of gamblingmachines and the charitable trusts that distribute the profits. It wasalleged that in 2005 MikeO’Brienwas considered unsuitable because of conflicting interests.

At the start of the trial, expected to last several weeks, prosecutor Grant Burston said MikeO’Brien had a deep involvement with racing,andhad described himself as a lobbyisthelping racing clubs obtain grants. Heinvoiced clubs forhis services.

When it became more difficult to getgrantsfor horse racing, MikeO’Brienwas behind the setting up of a gaming machine operator, Bluegrass Trust.


Former Harness Racing NZ chairman Pat O’Brien, pictured in 2010.

With control of thenet proceedshe was able to ensure money could goto the clubs he invoiced,enablingthe schemeand his incometo continue, Burston said.

But the charges did not focus on the money O’Brien received.

MikeO’Brien and Max faced 10 charges alleging that, between 2007 and 2010, they obtained 10 venue licencesby concealing O’Brien’ssignificant interest in the ownership, management or operation of the trust that was licensed to run the machines, by transferring his interest to Max.


Mike O’Brien invoiced racing clubs who received grants, it was alleged.

Mikeand PatO’Brien and the man whose name was suppressedfaced two charges together, of obtaining an operator’s licence for Bluegrass, and control over the proceeds of gambling,by false representations that MikeO’Brienwas not involved.

MikeO’Brien andMax face a group of charges relating to getting venue licences for three businesses in 2009 and 2010 by concealing O’Brien’s involvement.


Paul Max allegedly held Mike O’Brien’s interest in his name to conceal O’Brien’s involvement.


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Deception alleged in control over pokie machine gambling and profits – Stuff.co.nz

Osaka group lodges problem gambling bill to boost Japan IR chances – CalvinAyre.com

In a bid to move Japans casino policies forward, members of the opposition party have come up with a new legislation that will deal with problem gamblers in the country.

The Osaka-centric Nippon Ishin no Kai party is hoping that a cooperation with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party will boost the citys chances of being picked for one of the casino resort licenses, the Japan Times reported.

The Nippon Ishin bill sets out a variety of measures to deal with problem gamblers to ensure that the problem is dealt with in a comprehensive manner, said Nippon Ishin policy chief Hitoshi Asada, according to the news outlet.

Nippon Ishins bill, submitted to the Upper House in early February, targets problem gamblers and their families. In it, the opposition party identified the need for policies to deal with crime, suicide, poverty, debts and other problems that occur as a result of problem gambling, noting the need for the creation of a basic program that will be subject to revision at least once every five years. The bill is also seeking a set of rules for casino advertising and admission charges.

But more than that, Nippon Ishins bill wants puts the obligation of dealing with problem gamblers on central and regional governments, casino operators, the people of Japan and health professionals, according to the report.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abes LDP is already preparing new legislation detailing methods gambling operators can employ to reduce problem gambling behavior. Under LDPs proposal, the new legislation will offer guidelines for municipal governments and gambling operatorsincluding the countrys ubiquitous pachinko hallssuch as allowing families to apply for bans on their relatives patronizing gambling venues, similar to programs available in Singapore. The measures could also include new restrictions on online horse betting, one of the few forms of wagering currently allowed in the country.

Nippon Ishin, which has its own timetable for an Osaka casino, is hoping their bill will help drive the Diet debate on casino rules forward so that the second integrated resorts bill will pass by the end of the year.

Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui, also a co-leader of Nippon Ishin, said the ideal scenario is that at least part of an integrated resort would open in Osaka by 2023, and that would be in operation to welcome the World Expo in 2025.


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Osaka group lodges problem gambling bill to boost Japan IR chances – CalvinAyre.com

NRL chief Todd Greenberg defends code’s commercial ties to … – The Sydney Morning Herald

NRL chief Todd Greenberg on Sunday defended the game’s commercial links to gambling in the wake of the allegations levelled at Tim Simona, insisting administrators were working hard to maintain “a really strong balance”between the sport’s integrity and catering for thousands of supporters who enjoyed punting on the competition.

League Central last year agreed toa $60 million deal with Sportsbet in making the corporate bookmaker league’s official betting partner and is also reaping a far greater windfall from the gambling industry than in previous years thanks to lucrative percentage-of-turnover contracts secured with betting agencies in 2015.

The emergence this month of an NRL integrity unit investigation into Simona’salleged betting activity on the game – the Wests Tigers centre is facing deregistration amid claims he arranged bets on opposition players – came with news that a NSW police strike force was still probing unrelated allegations of match fixing in the game.

Greenberg indicated the misconduct of individual players did not mean the NRL should scale back its relationships with gambling outlets.

“There is a really strong balance here,” he said during an interview with ABC News 24 aired on Sunday.

“I made some strong comments last year you’ll remember about anyone involved in match fixing or gambling inside the game against the rules will face life bans and I stand by that because that really cuts to the absolute core of the integrity of the sport. For you and I to turn up every week to watch that contest, we need to know that’s pure. Anyone who gets in theway of that will absolutely not be welcome back.

“But we do have to find a balance because people, particularly in this country, they love to have a bet. And we’re not going to get away from that. So whether or not we have branding or not, people are still going to be looking to have a wager on the game.

“What we need to do, though, [is]we need to talk and market ourselves to those people who want to do that. We’ve got to make sure that we’re very fundamental in how we have principles around those sorts of agreements. We’re trying very hard in this space.

“There are a lot of my friends, a lot of your friends, who really enjoy to have a punt on a weekend, whether it’s football, whether it’s cricket or the horses. A lot of people in Australia enjoy punting. It’s a difficult way to find this balance between enjoying the game but also making sure we’re responsible.”

Simona has until Friday to present his case to the integrity unit after being provided with documentation from the NRL relating to the case against him last week.

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NRL chief Todd Greenberg defends code’s commercial ties to … – The Sydney Morning Herald

Ayn Rand – Salon.com

No, Donald Trump hasn’t really read “Atlas Shrugged.” Sad! But he’s surrounding himself with Ayn Rand superfans

The value-neutral media “ideal” has left us with a society drained of kindness and mutual responsibility

My father believed in two things, which deeply informed his parenting: making money and doing whatever he pleased

The HBO show’s creator may or may not be a Randian, but a version of her philosophy runs through his body of work

Carl Barney has run a lucrative nonprofit education empire under the principles of the libertarian figurehead

The Uber model just doesn’t work for other industries. The price points always fail — and that’s a good thing

Yesterday, the House Speaker apologized for calling America’s impoverished “takers.” But he hasn’t changed a bit

Snyder working on an adaptation of Rand’s novel makes perfect sensejust look at his body of work VIDEO

John Boehner is laying the groundwork for a “Draft Ryan” campaign at the GOP convention. The whole thing is absurd

Values voters, Tea Party conservatives, faux-populists grifting for book deals and Fox spots — meet today’s GOP

Fans feel “so betrayed” seeing the “Star Wars” heartthrob in an “Atlas Shrugged” shirt

The brilliant critic Evgeny Morozov discusses the myths Silicon Valley tells about itself, and why we believe them

The most effective ways to expose their contradictions and faulty logic

A stern, serious Krugman says anyone who doesn’t believe the GOP’s real gold standard fervor is deluding themselves

Freedom now means winner-take-all capitalism, and it’s slowly morphing our political system into a plutocracy

We’ve been a fed a myth about heroic individuals — and that allows the 1 percent to prosper at everyone’s expense

The Wisconsin congressman may be a radical, but he’s also a product of the insider cronyism the Tea Party abhors

Read about Paul Ryan and you might think he is a thoughtful, right-of-center policy wonk, not an Ayn Rand ideologue

The wingnut pundit resents the liberal tone of TV, but turns out cartoonish, right-leaning prose

What’s causing the GOP’s slide into complete dysfunction? It’s not overheated rhetoric; it’s the politics of race

Page 1 of 7 in Ayn Rand

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Ayn Rand – Salon.com

Strikes, Capitalism and Trump: A Review of Atlas Shrugged – The Boar

Ayn Rands divisive novel Atlas Shrugged offers both a frightening dystopia, where government regulation and totalitarianism force the gifted artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs to go on strike, and a hopeful utopia, where these gifted individuals are eventually free to produce great things. Rand warned in the 1960s that the US was a mixed economy heading towards dictatorship. With Donald Trump in The White House, it appears we are close to reaching that dictatorship stage, having perhaps reached it already.

There have been many protests against Trump, but strike action has also been taken. For instance, feminist groups have protested misogyny in the workplace and set up protests to close down streets, owing to Trumps appalling treatment of women. Though unlike in Atlas Shrugged, these strikes are also targeting neoliberal policies that have eroded social provision and labour rights.

Rand warned in the 1960s that the US was a mixed economy heading towards dictatorship

In addition, 127 top companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, Netflix, and Twitter have all filed court papers against Trumps executive order on immigration, stating it violates immigration laws and the Constitution. Most of this action prevents the freedom of movement of workers, simultaneously suppressing the progress and innovations these companies can make; Trump is blind-sighted to the fact that a large portion of the money America makes from companies comes from foreign workers. Hence, we would also be seeing how a society that uses force to over-regulate the private sector could stagnate and come close to collapsing, which is a major event that takes place in Atlas Shrugged.

What the book also shows, however, is that great thinkers with tenacious wills can overcome such forces of tyranny. In the future, more and more companies will likely strike out against Trump, and though theyd be unlikely to cease production, they might move production outside of the US, and stagnate the American economy. Once even the most ardent Trump supporters see that they have become worse off than before, they will defect against him, and America will come full circle.

Once even the most ardent Trump supporters see that they have become worse off than before, they will defect against him

The US probably wont however, embrace laissez-faire capitalism with total free markets and minimal government regulation, given that this was the underlying cause of the financial crisis. Big banks abused minimal regulation, fuelled a prejudice against immigrants and poor people, that then helped lead to Trumps rise to power. Nevertheless, the theme of individuals against the collective, that was paramount in Atlas Shrugged, is likely to resonate with many Americans today. Given that many people are furious at Trumps love of mob-mentality, stupidity, and suppression of anything that disagrees with him, it is likely that his presidency is a ticking Atlas-Shrugged time-bomb.

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Strikes, Capitalism and Trump: A Review of Atlas Shrugged – The Boar

Whittaker Chambers: Crusading Journalist | The Liberty Conservative – The Liberty Conservative

Because of his role in outing Soviet spy Alger Hiss, Whittaker Chambers other career, not that of paid witness he would become, has been overshadowed. For Chambers was a journalist par excellence. He had the distinction of having written for the New Masses, Time, and National Review.

At the time of his testimony, he was a highly-paid writer at Time. The pro-Hiss left no doubt wishes hed stayed at the typewriter rather than appearing behind a congressional microphone. Without Chambers, the Hiss case would never have gotten off the ground and Chambers would have toiled away his remaining days writing for Time, and Hiss leaking from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to Moscow.

To examine Chambers career without the Hiss case is, of course, impossible, but to examine his career solely on journalistic grounds reveals links between the different ideological magazines he wrote for. At first glance, a writer first for New Masses, then Time, then National Review shows chartable growth from communism to the mainstream then overshooting it into another political sect, the Buckley conservatives of the 1950s. But whatever party label he sported, his basic journalistic mission never changed, nor did his view of collectivist action.

While on the New Masses, Chambers differentiated himself from others by showing Marxists acting rather than preaching:

It occurred to me thatI might by writing, not political polemics which few people ever wanted to read, but stories that anybody might want to readstories in which the correct conduct of the Communist would be shown and without political comment.

The most praised of this formula, Can You Hear Their Voices? appeared in the January 1931 issue of the Masses, dealt with activist farmers who raid a food store during the worst of the Depression. Awakened to their collective power, they take food and arms into the mountains, like one of those resistance groups in a World War II film.

By the time his byline appeared in Time Magazine, Chambers had gone through six years of espionage work for the NKVD. NO longer pushing the history train toward the Revolution, Chambers was now trying to derail it. But the populist sense of reaching the masses via journalism remained.

Surveying the aftereffects on Western fellow travelers of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, Chambers saw his armed band of farmers circa 1931 now betrayed by this nave cadre who themselves thought they had enlisted in the cause of antifascism but were merely serving another variant of it:

How could they know that Lenin was the first fascist and that they were cooperating with the Party from which the Nazis borrowed all their important methods and ideas? By last week even the dullest fellow traveler found outAfter Stalins purge, the Nazi-Soviet Pact, Russian grab of half of Poland, 1940 betrayed the full sense of Stalin with his attacks on Finland, the seizure of part of Rumania and all of the Baltic States.

But Chambers hope for collective action remained, now centered on those who had fallen off the history train:

The Party had trained a group of men who would one day help destroy it. The literary intellectuals might be slow, lazy, self-important, impracticalbut they had reached their convictions not without years in the wilderness and days of blindness.

Chambers saw hope for a counterrevolution in Waldo Franks outline for action in Chart for Rough Weather and the writers observation that the struggle is for the human soul.

The election of 1944 saw the Partys most open and fervent support for FDR and the growing alarm of conservatives, and some liberals, about cultural dominance by Stalinists at home and their suspicious liberations of Nazi satellites abroad. It was also the year Chambers Ghosts on the Roof appeared in Time magazine. In it, Chambers was again trying to activate readers, this time through the approving ghosts of the murdered Nicholas and Alexandria toward the Party that murdered them. For the Czar, Stalin accomplished only what he had dreamed about:

What vision! What power! We have known nothing like it since my ancestor, Peter the Great, broke a window into Europe by overrunning the Baltic States in the 18th century. Stalin has made us great again!

Examining the Pact, the Czar noted rather enviously, I always wanted to take down those Poles a peg, but something was always tying my hands.

A decade later, Chambers again took up the familiar profession of journalism, this time on the staff of National Review. By now, he had gone through the emotionally brutalizing participation in the Hiss case, which provoked one suicide attempt. But his vision of journalism remained although this time focused on a very specific group: conservative Republicans. As opposed to 1941, he counseled his new comrades to cease their attempts at rolling back the New Deal (their stated editorial mission was for the magazine to stand athwart history, yelling Stop) and instead reap the benefits of accepting the drift of History:

Those who remain in the world, if they will not surrender to its terms, must maneuver within its terms. That is what conservatives must decide: how much to give in order to survive at all: how much to give up basic principles.

This sense of mission entailed cleansing conservatism of its more soulless elements such as Ayn Rand. Chambers review of Atlas Shrugged compared her atheistic capitalism to Karl Marx: He too admired naked self-interest and for much the same reasons as Miss Rand: because, he believed, it cleansed away the cobwebs of religion and led to prodigies of industrial and cognate accomplishments.

Thus, had there been no Hiss case, Chambers would have remained much of what he was: a crusading journalist. The familiar trajectory of the communist moving rightward fits him on the surface, but also doesnt. Along the way, he brought baggage with himnamely the Marxist baggage of journalism as a mass activator.


Whittaker Chambers: Crusading Journalist | The Liberty Conservative – The Liberty Conservative

WA election: Rob Johnson cries foul over Greens-Liberal preferences in Hillarys – ABC Online

Posted February 27, 2017 17:04:42

Hillarys MP Rob Johnson says his chances of re-election have been dealt a cruel, but not fatal, blow by the Greens’ decision to preference Labor ahead of him.

The independent MP said he was deeply disappointed when he saw the Greens how-to-vote card, because he believed the party understood the strategic importance of preferencing him ahead of Labor.

In order to beat Liberal candidate Peter Katsambanis, Rob Johnson has to outpoll Labor’s Teresa Ritchie and rely on her preferences to deliver him victory.

Mr Johnson believes the Greens have sacrificed him, in exchange for Liberal Party preferences in the Legislative Council.

The Liberals are preferencing the Greens ahead of Labor in all Upper House metropolitan seats a decision they also took in 2013.

“They [the Greens] could be responsible for re-electing a Barnett government,” Mr Johnson said.

“They [the Liberals] desperately want to get rid of me … I am Colin Barnett’s worst nightmare.”

Mr Johnson said most Liberal supporters knew nothing about the party’s preference arrangement with the Greens in the Upper House.

“Most Liberal members and voters will be absolutely horrified to know that the Liberal Party are preferencing the Greens ahead of Labor,” he said.

“Liberal voters are diametrically opposed to the Greens because of their [stance] on drugs and various other things, they would be appalled.”

Mr Johnson quit the Liberal Party last year after a lengthy period of verbal warfare with the Premier, triggered by his dumping from Cabinet in 2012.

The Greens’ state preference negotiator Luke Edmonds said he would not confirm if there was, or was not, a preference deal with the Liberals.

He told the ABC the Greens ordered their how to vote cards by listing progressive candidates ahead of conservative ones.

Mr Johnson said the Liberal Party had virtually given the Upper House away, as a result of its preference decisions involving One Nation and the Greens.

“They’ve made fools of themselves in relation to the preference deal they did with One Nation, they have given the Upper House away to the One Nation Party and the Greens,” he said.

“It shows you how stupid some of these people are in the Liberal Party headquarters.”

Yesterday, Premier Colin Barnett was scathing in his criticism of the Greens.

“The Greens are a radical, destructive group of people,” he said.

“They are worse than Labor.

“Labor’s pretty bad but they are worse.”

Mr Barnett said he had no involvement in the Liberal Party’s decision to preference the Greens ahead of Labor in Upper House metropolitan seats.

A Liberal Party spokesman said the party had no preference deal with the Greens.

Topics: elections, political-parties, hillarys-6025, wa

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WA election: Rob Johnson cries foul over Greens-Liberal preferences in Hillarys – ABC Online

Liberal senator appears to describe asylum seekers as ‘fleas’ in Senate estimates – The Guardian

David Fawcett told Labor senators in Senate estimates he questioned the ethics of nitpicking when your particular group perhaps brought the fleas in the first place. Photograph: Ben Macmahon/AAP

The Liberal senator David Fawcett has appeared to describe asylum seekers as fleas in Senate estimates, bringing cries of hear hear from other senators.

He made the remarks to Labor senators as they discussed boat arrivals during a hearing into the immigration department on Monday.

I just do question the ethics of nitpicking when your particular group perhaps brought the fleas in the first place, he told the hearing at Parliament House.

Unknown senators on the committee said hear hear, while Fawcetts fellow Liberal and committee chair Ian McDonald was heard on the microphones to say nicely put.

But the South Australian senator later sought to offer a clarification, saying he was referring to Labor senators pursuing small, process-driven details from the department when boat arrivals spiked on their watch.

The metaphor was that if they were nitpicking they were responsible for the cause of that irritation, he said. It is certainly not intended to apply to people who are refugees.

The Labor senator Kim Carr had asked a series of questions about an audit office report highlighting immigration department cost blowouts.

Fawcett asked the minister assisting the prime minister on the public service, Michaelia Cash, about the cost savings of having closed detention centres and stopped boats, and the stress placed on the department by high numbers of boat arrivals to Australia.

Cash said there had been large numbers of unauthorised arrivals under the Rudd and Gillard governments.

It is the unfortunate reality in terms of what occurred under the former Labor government that they wound back the former Howard governments strong border protection policies, she said. The statistics in terms of the unauthorised arrivals led to a course of events which, unfortunately, this government is still trying to clean up.

Fawcett then made his fleas remarks, directing his comment at Carr.

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Liberal senator appears to describe asylum seekers as ‘fleas’ in Senate estimates – The Guardian

The Myth Of The Liberal Campus | The Huffington Post – Huffington Post

This week has not been great for free speech in the U.S. The Trump administration excluded certain news outlets from an informal briefing with Sean Spicer, Republican lawmakers across the U.S. have been introducing bills aimed at curbing protesting in at least 18 states, and Betsy DeVos decided to reinforce the dubious argument that universities currently pose a threat to free speech. In her words, she claimed that The faculty, from adjunct professors to deans, tell you what to do, what to say, and more ominously, what to think. They say that if you voted for Donald Trump, youre a threat to the university community. But the real threat is silencing the First Amendment rights of people with whom you disagree.

This is not a new argument, nor is it factual, but it is one that has gained an inordinate amount of support from many on the left and on the right. The right has been waging a campaign against liberal academics for decades and opposition to political correctness has proven to be a highly effective political strategy. The myth of the liberal campus functions as a broad generalization that paints all college campuses as bastions of liberal indoctrination without accounting for the differences and diversity in those institutions. This myth is particularly dangerous in that it diverts our attention from actual threats to some forms of speech on college campuses while serving as a useful tool for those who wish to divest in public education. What follows is a list of the current arguments that serve as the foundation for the myth of the liberal campus and an analysis of why their validity should be questioned.

Argument: Liberal Faculty Members are Using Classrooms to Promote Their Agenda

One of the assumptions in the myth of the liberal campus is that simply because one has progressive values they therefore teach progressive ideologies. Nicolas Kristof laments the fact that so few Republicans are represented amongst faculty on college campuses, but this presumes that ones party affiliation correlates with how one might teach math or science or english. A chemist who voted for Clinton or Sanders isnt necessarily going to teach a progressive form of biochemistry, yet we assume because someone is a Marxist or a progressive, they are necessarily teaching in their discipline using that lens.

Secondly, this presumes that all faculty members, even when the very nature of their discipline is political, are able to speak freely on these issues without fear of consequence. Given that most college faculty do not currently have the tenured protections of academic freedom, most professors are unlikely to even engage in any sort of political conversation for fear of termination or student retribution. Untenured faculty on the campus where I teach are fearful of discussing anything that could even be perceived as political for fear of termination. This chilling effect prevents even general discussions related to that which could be seen as political and therefore partisan. This fear has only increased with the knowledge that conservative groups are openly encouraging students to videotape their professors to try and catch them in the act of so-called indoctrination.

And, as many of us who teach in higher education know, due to massive budget cuts across across the nation, universities more heavily rely on adjunct and graduate student labor to try and save money. Kevin Birmingham notes that, Tenured faculty represent only 17 percent of college instructors. Part-time adjuncts are now the majority of the professoriate and its fastest-growing segment. From 1975 to 2011, the number of part-time adjuncts quadrupled. And the so-called part-time designation is misleading because most of them are piecing together teaching jobs at multiple institutions simultaneously. A 2014 congressional report suggests that 89 percent of adjuncts work at more than one institution; 13 percent work at four or more. And, as Trevor Griffey points out, The vast majority of college faculty in the United States today are ineligible for tenure.

Given the fact that most classes around the country are taught by adjunct professors who have no job security and even less academic freedom in the classroom, even if that professor despised Donald Trump or conservative ideologies, what is the likelihood that she would actually engage in a 30 minute Trump bashing rant simply because she either has the platform or the captive audience? Entirely unlikely. Yet again, when we generalize about all faculty, we fail to discern between who actually has the power and privilege to go on such a rant at all, let alone discuss anything that could be perceived as political in nature.

Lastly, this presumes that simply because one teaches in higher education, they arent actually a professional capable of divorcing their own political ideologies from their work. The progressive academic advisor is still capable of giving her students advice on transfer opportunities without delving into the political subject of the day in the same way the conservative math professor is capable of teaching calculus without telling students who he voted for in the last election.

Argument: Look At Whats Happening At Berkeley!

Those who criticize the free speech problem on all college campuses tend to routinely point to those campuses that make headlines like Berkeley or Yale. The reality is that the small number of campuses making headlines arent actually reflective of most institutions of higher education. According to Jonathan Zimmerman, author of Campus Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2016) There are over 4,000 places to get a B.A. in the United States. And most of them look nothing like the colleges that you see on TV, or if youre from the upper middle class like the one you attended. Those of us in that class assume that you start college when youre 18, that you live as well as study there, and that you graduate in four years. But most of our students dont fit those patterns at all. Half of all undergraduates attend community colleges, which are rarely residential and serve an enormous range of age groups.

As with most mainstream corporate news coverage, that which is the most sensational makes headlines. But most campuses dont look anything like Berkeley or Yale. My campus rarely makes headlines unless were asked to reduce more services to students due to funding cuts. But those stories of how my students lack advisors or mental health counseling because the state continues to cut millions from our budget arent as juicy as Milo Yiannopoulos getting yelled at by Berkeley protesters. These stories simply do not reflect the experience of many students, yet serve to reinforce only the most negative of stereotypes. My students are kind and tolerant but theyre also adults and dont shy away from difficult conversations. Most of my students work 2 or 3 jobs. They are parents and grandparentsmany of them the first in their families to pursue a college degree. If you truly think all college students are entitled snowflakes, I have a hard time believing youve ever met one. Sadly, however, these types of students arent the ones getting airtime.

Argument: Universities Silence Conservative Speech and Ideologies

One of the primary narratives surrounding campus speech is that universities are hypocritical since they claim to value diverse voices but actively work to silence conservative leaning speech or ideas. What this argument fails to point out is how conservative legislators and watch groups have been actively targeting what they consider leftist or radical views on campuses for decades. If those on the right claim to support all speech from all groups as a bedrock of freedom, why restrict or target certain types of speech? As Jason Blakely argues, One of the more troubling examples of this is the attempt to stigmatize certain professors through the website ProfessorWatchList.org, which compiles lists of professors that purportedly need to be monitored due to their radical agenda. This website professes to fight for free speech and the right for professors to say whatever they wish but at the same time it publicly isolates professors whose perspective is seen as offensive or shocking to conservative students. Through the use of this website students can now know before they ever walk into their college classrooms if their professor is too radical to take seriously (or perhaps even too radical to take the class). At best the website serves as a massive trigger warning for conservative-leaning students; at worst it is a modern Scarlet Letter.

This also ignores patterns of attempts by conservative lawmakers to try and legislate whose voices get heard on college campuses. In Iowa, Senator Mark Chelgren proposed that universities gather voter-registration data for prospective instructors to ensure a balance of conservative voices on campus. In Wisconsin, as Donald P. Moynihan writes, At least three times in the past six months, state legislators have threatened to cut the budget of the University of Wisconsin at Madison for teaching about homosexuality, gender and race. . . . At the University of North Carolina, the board of governors closed a privately funded research center that studied poverty; its director had criticized state elected officials for adopting policies that he argued amounted to a war on poor people. Amid broader budget cuts here in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker, without warning or explanation, tried to yank all the state funding for a renewable energy research center. On both private and public campuses, instructors who discuss race, gender, class, reproductive rights, elections or even just politics can find themselves subjected to attack by conservative groups like Media Trackers or Professor Watchlist. Faculty members in public institutions also have to worry about the possibility of having their email searched via Freedom of Information law requests. The ultimate audience for such trawling is lawmakers, who set the rules for public institutions. Indeed, a Media Trackers employee whose job included writing negative profiles of Wisconsin professors recently took a position with a state senator who likes to attack universities as being unfriendly to free speech.

Finally, this argument assumes all viewpoints are equally valid and good. The reason UW-Madison faculty criticized the state Department of Natural Resources for scrubbing its website of language that stated human activity is causing climate change isnt because those faculty members are tree-hugging lefties who hate jobs, but because human influence on climate is supported by sound peer reviewed evidence. The reason you wont find climate change deniers working in ecology departments on college campuses is because that idea does not hold up to scrutiny and hard evidence. As Caroline Levine argues, Say what you want about professors, but we spend our lives pursuing the truth. This means relentlessly interrogating what we think we know, and pushing ourselves to ask questions that feel, even to ourselves, uncomfortable. We insist on evidence and logic to support our claims. All of our publications are subject to rigorous peer review by experts around the world. We cant win tenure unless the most respected people in the field confirm that we have produced original and valuable knowledge. We are not paid by lobbyists. We do not earn more or less money if we take one position rather than another. And so were free to explore unpopular hypotheses, and some of these turn out to be true.

Yes, instructors demand that students use evidence to support their ideas. Yes, we demand that that evidence not come from the first website you may have stumbled on in your initial Google search. But thats a very different argument than saying faculty discriminate between conservative and liberal ideas. In my class, I ask my students to conduct library research and to use peer reviewed data so that they are making claims based on the best evidencenot simply a topic that aligns with my personal worldview. And this is where we tend to conflate evidence with liberal ideology.

As Bill Hart Davidson writes, Ironically, the most strident calls for safety come from those who want us to issue protections for discredited ideas. Things that science doesnt support AND that have destroyed livesthings like the inherent superiority of one race over another. Those ideas wither under demands for evidence. They *are* unwelcome. But lets be clear: they are unwelcome because they have not survived the challenge of scrutiny. The resistance I see is from people who cant take that scrutiny and who cant defend their ideas. They know it. They are afraid of it. So they accuse us of shutting them out. They cant win, and so they insist the game is rigged. The answer is more simple: they are weak. Bring a strong ideaone accompanied by evidenceand it will always win. Thats the beauty of the place where I work. Good ideas thrive. Bad ones wither and die, as they should.

In this post-truth era of fake news and my YouTube video is just as credible as your peer reviewed journal article, we must support those who are regularly pursuing truth and knowledge for the sake of pursuing truth and knowledge and challenge the false assumption that teaching critical thinking is the same as liberal indoctrination. This means supporting the few areas in the U.S. where this type of work is still happening, one being on college campuses.

Argument: The faculty, from adjunct professors to deans, tell you what to do, what to say, and more ominously, what to think

This is perhaps, I think, the most egregious claim of them all for it essentially presumes that students are so gullible and incapable of free thought, professors can shape their minds and turn them into bots in mere seconds. This line of thinking comes mostly from those who have never taught in a college classroom or who have never actually interacted with a college student. And this is where I would welcome anyone of any political stripes to come and sit in on my classes. My students are brilliant. They work hard, they are kind, and they are capable of thinking for themselves. My job is to get them to think critically; my job is not to tell them what to think. My job is to teach them to question the validity of sources, to learn how to conduct research, and asking them to question authority, even if that authority is me.

I am incredibly proud of the fact that I regularly have students of all political backgrounds enrolling in my classes semester after semester because they know they will be treated with dignity. Last year I won the teaching excellence award on my campus, an award voted on by the student body and given to an instructor of the highest caliber every year. I note this not because I enjoy bragging about my accomplishments but because I, like most everyone I work with, takes such great pride in teaching well and making sure every voice and every student in our classes feels valuedeven if those students are white supremacists or Holocaust deniers. We go to extraordinary lengths to make sure we dont stifle speech in our classes, but that we do create an environment where students must engage with each other civilly. If demand for civility and evidence based reasoning is liberal indoctrination, then yes, I am guilty of that.

So what has changed and why should we worry? Years of divestment in public education and the demonization of intellectualism and expertise has created a culture in which we need people who can teach critical thinking skills now more than ever yet those same people are routinely painted as enemies of the state. Arguments about faculty as thought police on college campuses only reinforces the narrative that these institutions no longer serve the public and that they are no longer a public good. The myth of the liberal campus allows legislators to threaten to withhold funding from institutions where they feel their voices arent getting a fair shake. And when legislators pit taxpayers against university faculty (forgetting faculty employed by the state are, in fact, also taxpayers) we set up a system whereby politicians can argue that states need not fund higher education since these institutions are just imposing liberal agendas in their classrooms. This not only defies logic but also reality. If liberal professors were so good at indoctrinating students, how did Trump outperform Clinton by a 4-point margin amongst white college graduates? If liberal indoctrination were real, how did Betsy DeVos make it through college without adhering to a radical political agenda? Sadly, for many, this reality doesnt matter. What matters is only the illusion that liberal campuses are real, that they are un-American, that those who work there hate free speech and expression, and that they serve no use to anyone. When enough citizens believe this to be true, asking states to invest in education will be impossible.

If you are truly worried about the state of college campuses, visit one. Come to my classes. See for yourselves the level of thoughtful debates and dialogues that happen in most classrooms. But please, stop demonizing faculty and students based on crude stereotypes. This is a dangerous fiction, one created by those who see no value in public education and who dont actually care about the welfare of students on these campuses. These discussions serve as a distraction from the real threats to higher education and we all need to do a better job of dismissing them as such.

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The Myth Of The Liberal Campus | The Huffington Post – Huffington Post

Liberalism’s Fake Sense of Morality – Townhall


Posted: Feb 27, 2017 12:01 AM

Liberals constantly stake a claim to some religion-free moral high ground, which is laughable considering liberalisms ideology is immoral at its core. Since November of last year, leftists have been too blinded by inane hatred for Trump to see the irony.

Sure, there are liberals out there who lead decent lives and you can find some on the other side who dont. Difference is, though, the longer a liberal remains liberal, the harder it is for them to see the light…the truththat all their ideology does is cover them with a cloak of morality.

The false sense of morality gives them license to live a life filled with double standards. Whats wrong is wrong, right? No. Their skewed perception of right and wrong allows them to believe its okay to do wrong, but its not okay for those on the right, both religious and secular. Which is why they found it perfectly acceptable for recent womens marches, supposedly protesting a decade-old nasty Trump joke, to chant obscenities through a microphone and put on a display of vulgarity, filthy enough to make even Trump blush.

As a wise person once said: There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Enough already with the fake moral outrage.

Clear and simple, liberals hate Trump because he beat Hillary Clinton. Period. End of story. They are so overcome by anger and hatred, they fail to realize that until recently, Trump could have been their candidate.

I say until recently because Trump is transitioningtransformingchanging. Prayer works, and Trumps blanketedcovered with it. Surrounding himself with some incredibly adept advisors doesnt hurt either.

Another huge factor in this evolution is that with each fake news report or violent riot or piece of leaked information Trump is becoming less like a liberal and more like Ronald Reagan. Who Trump was during the primaries is not who he is today.

Liberals cant handle that this immoral man received a moral mandate to do what is right for America.

And, by gosh, hes doing it, despite the snotty-nosed brats who continue to throw tantrums and wet their pants every time Trump takes positive action to restore America to her former greatness.

Trump made no pretense about who he was and is doing exactly what he said he would do versus the self-serving candidates liberals typically choose, who put on a mask of morality every election cycle.

Thats why their beloved former Sen. Harry Reid had no problem telling a bold-faced lie about Mitt Romneys taxes during the 2012 presidential election. Years later, an unrepentant Reid justified his actions during a news interview where he refused to acknowledge wrongdoing saying, with an arrogant grin, Well, they can call it whatever they want, Romney didnt win, did he?

The Washington Post gave three Pinocchios to the lefts Coolest Prez, ever, Obama, who made a campaign promise that insurance premiums would decrease under Obamacare. Obama was also responsible for this fish tale: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.

But were not supposed to notice the duplicity, were supposed to dwell on the good intentions of a party devoid of conscience.

Folks, this really isnt about politics. Im genuinely concerned some of our liberal friends are drowning in an ideology every bit as dangerous as Eves apple. Every time they take a bite, they are tempted to believe its okay to lie and hate and suppose they are morally superior to everyone else — for absolutely no reason at all.

‘Moonlight’ Wins Best Picture at Academy Awards After Chaotic Mistake


Liberalism’s Fake Sense of Morality – Townhall